With the Reef Hawaiian Pro getting the Vans Triple Crown off the ground this week, our attention inevitably turns to Hawaii. It's not only the birthplace of our passion, but after some 70 years of modern surfing, hundreds of worn out Polynesian clichés, and people from Idaho who give their kids Hawaiian names because they stayed in Waikiki on their honeymoon, it still an amazing representation of wave sliding.
Maybe you're one of the thousand of surfers making plans to go watch the World Cup at Sunset, a family trip over winter break, or a few months at Waimea Backpackers. No matter your trip, it's time to break out the sandals.
WHAT IT IS:
It's a high-end tech flip flop. Reef has been a leader in using eco-friendly materials in their products and the Arch is made of recycled rubber and water-based glue. The midsole is 51 percent recycled EVA (Ethylene Vinyl Acetate) and the outsole is 25 percent recycled rubber.
Is this flip-flop going to save the world? No, but the more we see trendsetters in the surf industry move to environmentally friendly sources, the more fashion will follow and the less petroleum we'll need in general.
WHY IT RULES:
The Arch 1, part of the Supreme Collection, is the pinnacle of sandal comfort, but that's just the beginning. Anyone over the age of 22 will tell you that those flat flip-flops can crush your back. With very little cushion and no support, you're almost better off going barefoot. Your chiropractor will tell you to scrap the slaps and get a nice pair of trainers.
But who wants to wear lace-up jogging shoes on the North Shore or anywhere tropical for that matter? This is sandal land. The Arch is named for it's adjustable arch. If you're wondering how a pair of flops can run over $100, it's because of the key-adjusted midsole arch. That's the price of technology. Using a hex-key, the same way you screw in your fins, you can adjust the height to the arch of your foot. That's one tech sandal.
WHERE TO FIND IT:
If you're in Florida, you can wear flip-flops for eleven months. Pick up a pair at the Longboard House in Indialantic. Southern Cal folks can find them at Sun Diego Boardshops. And if you're from Idaho and love all things Hawaiian, buy them at the Board Bin in Ketchum. There's also the Reef website, with free shipping on orders over $75.